ERIC Number: ED377165
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
How Do Prospective Teachers Think about Literature and the Teaching of Literature?
Holt-Reynolds, Diane; McDiarmid, G. Williamson
Twenty-eight prospective English teachers at a large midwestern state university participated in this study of what they believe literature to be and what criteria they apply in choosing texts they would teach. Although the prospective teachers reported that they had not been taught explicit criteria for evaluating texts, they had no difficulty generating criteria. Participants were presented with 7 books and 11 additional texts and were asked to discuss which ones seemed like literature. Rationales for classifying a text as literature fell into three categories: arguments that focused on features of the text itself; arguments that focused on how and/or why the author created the text; and arguments that focused on how a reader acts in response to the text. Participants selected, from a list of texts, six books that they would teach to an 11th grade class. Their selection was found to be based on themes, accessibility, genre, political reasons, the traditional canon, and aesthetics. Prospective teachers seemed to draw on a potpourri of ideas and experiences in responding to questions and tasks. They acted more as if they were learning in the moment than as if they were reporting older, previously articulated or well-rehearsed ideas, beliefs, and perceptions. Appendices provide materials related to the participants' tasks. (Contains 17 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, East Lansing, MI.